Whenever I go to buffets at Oahu hotels, I'm always impressed with the food offerings. Why can't hotels in Hilo offer such a pleasing array of food? I am never excited about the buffets at Hilo hotel banquets. . .always the same shit: fish, chicken and roast beef. All boring, all tasteless.
The buffet at the Prince featured the usual green salad, but there was a somen salad and a delicious pasta salad too. Instead of the boring fish/chicken/beef, there was mochiko chicken, Chinese-style steamed fish, and tonkatsu! And everything tasted good. I noticed that D1 loaded her plate with the tonkatsu!
The dessert offerings at the Prince were also splendid. There were multiple cakes, pies, and fruit desserts. My favorite dessert was some kind of chocolate nut pie with a sugary layer just over the crust. OMG!
Dessert turned out to be the theme of the weekend because I had dessert several times while I was there. . .not just after meals. On Saturday afternoon, D1 bought me a slice of cheeseake from Kulukulu. She thought she was buying me the Japanese cheesecake she heard me raving about. While it was good, it was not THE Japanese cheesecake. That evening, I took D1 and friends to Buca di Beppo for dinner, and we ended up across the street at Menchie's (froyo) after. Menchie's has become a standard stop whenever I'm with the Ds on Oahu. It's similar to Hilo's Yogurtland, but perhaps there are more toppings at Menchie's.
My Sunday began with dessert. . .after making a stop at Don Quijote, I took the girls to Ala Moana. I decided to "right" things by having my Japanese cheesecake from Kulukulu. It was divine. I also realize why D1 was confused. The sign did not say "Japanese cheesecake"; it said "pillow soft" cheesecake. Oops!
And before leaving Honolulu, we stopped at The Mandalay to enjoy Mother's Day brunch. I was stuffed when I headed toward the door, but D1 made sure I didn't leave without having a gai dan tat (egg custard tart). I had been lamenting to D1 that they ran out, but just as we were leaving, a new platter of them appeared on the buffet line. D1 ran up and grabbed me one "to go". Harbor City in Seattle still makes the best, the the tart at The Mandalay is the best I've had in Hawaii. The crust must be made with lard!
My dessert kick hasn't subsided yet. I spent this past week finishing up the strawberry pie I made. I experimented with a mandarin orange version of the strawberry pie. D2 always wants dessert, so I try to have something on hand...we have "dessert time" on weeknights. In case the mandarin orange dessert bombed, I also baked some other things D2 would like. I'm hoping D1 will want some of these Mountain Dew cupcakes.
D1 is really the dessert oddball. She is not into sweets. I'm not sure why. A few years ago, D1 was really into Mt. Dew. She would beg me to buy some whenever we went to Target. That was at the apex of her sweet phase. Recently, she hasn't asked for Mt. Dew or anything sweet (aside from froyo). In fact, I hardly ever see her drink any soda. That's a good thing, but will she be able to stay away from the soda when she is in the sunny southwest?
click on recipe title for printable recipe
1 box (about 15 oz) Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 c Mountain Dew soda
1/3 c vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with 24 liners. Combine all ingredients. Divide evenly among liners. Bake for 17 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Mountain Dew Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c butter, softened
4 c powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp mountain dew
2 tbsp lemon juice
yellow food coloring
green food coloring
In a small bowl, combine mountain dew and lemon juice. Set aside. Beat butter for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of mountain dew and lemon juice mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl. Beat on medium high for 1 minute. Add yellow food coloring. Beat for 30 seconds. Remove half of frosting, and place in a small icing bag. Add green food coloring to remaining frosting. Beat for 15 seconds. Scrape bowl and beat for an additional 15 seconds. Place green frosting in a small icing bag. Place both yellow and green frosting bags into a larger icing bag which has been fitted with an Ateco #844 (large closed star) tip or large tip of your choice. Pipe icing in rose pattern on cupcakes. Makes enough to frost 25-29 cupcakes.